With Mamadou Sakho having finally completed his move away from Anfield on deadline day, albeit on a loan and not in the permanent move both the player and club would have hoped for, some of the details of the past month’s attempts to find the French defender a new home are emerging.
It had come down to two clubs on deadline day, Southampton and Crystal Palace. Both had been willing to pay Sakho’s wages, but only Palace—threatened by relegation and a little bit desperate—were willing to pay a £2M loan fee to take the 26-year-old for the remainder of the season.
As to why it came to a loan, while there are no details of what other clubs may have bid, reports from London suggest Palace offered £12M guaranteed plus a further £3M in potential add-ons. Not a rich bid, perhaps, given Sakho’s talent. Given his status at Liverpool, though, it’s easy to understand why they didn’t go higher.
Sakho, though, is only focused on the next four months and the chance to play first team football again, with the player training today with his new teammates and speaking to Crystal Palace’s official website about his move to London following an unhappy year spent on Merseyside.
“It was really long for me and all my family but I'm now really happy to sign here,” Sakho said. “It's a project that is really interesting and a big challenge. The most important thing is for us to win a lot of games. I know we have a good squad, I have a few friends who are playing here.
“I feel happy, I have trained with the second team at Liverpool and have my own fitness coach to do extra work. I am happy to come here, it's a challenge which is really exciting. Right now it's a new page for me and I will try to give my best like I am always trying to do. When I have a shot I always give my best.'
If Palace can stay up and Sakho plays well, there’s a chance the London club will again try to sign him long-term, but for now the assumption has to be that the player will return to Liverpool again in the summer, giving us all a chance to go through another round of transfer rumours and waiting.